Responding to a new book by former Labor finance minister Lindsay Tanner, which said the Labor Party had lost any sense of purpose, foreign minister Bob Carr said: “I think it is getting a little too easy to bag the Labor Party.”
Carr said: “If I were in retirement … it would have been a pushover to have polished off another book, number 20, on what's wrong with the Labor Party.”
It is not often I agree with Bob “We know of no threat to Assange from the US even though leaked documents show we do” Carr. But he is right on the money: exposing Labor as a party with no purpose or commitment to any identifiable principle except power must truly be one of the easiest things in the world.
No doubt Carr is right to call out Tanner for his intellectual laziness. Surely he could have chosen a more challenging topic, like proving Mitt Romney is a rich bastard who hates the poor, or that Clive Palmer doesn't like tax, or perhaps writing a devastating critique of Gina Rinehart's poetry.
But no, Tanner took the easy road and wrote a book on how utterly empty and devoid of values the Labor Party have become.
Anyone could do that. Just like anyone could point out the Labor government is pandering to vile racism, victimising the most desperate people legally seeking asylum, and jailing innocent people, including children, in isolated prisons indefinitely in conditions that amount to torture.
Or that, in keeping the Australian military in Afghanistan, Labor is contributing to a great crime against one of the poorest nations on Earth and helping ensure the continuation of a brutal war that, according to one recent study, has killed more than 5 million Afghans.
Or that the Labor government is vindictive as well as cruel, with a failed bid to confiscate royalties from David Hicks' book — which details the horrific torture he was repeatedly subjected to while jailed without trial for years by a foreign government as a result of being abandoned by his own — claiming that as Hicks was forced to accept a “guilty” plea in a rigged court to escape a torture camp, the royalties were “proceeds of crime”.
Or that Labor is grossly hypocritical in claiming to act on climate change while giving so many handouts to the coal giants under its carbon price package that the dirtiest coal-fired stations will be $1 billion better off would be hilarious, if not for the fact it is contributing to the gravest threat to survival humanity has ever faced.
Pointing all that out is the easiest thing in the world. The really hard thing must be to do all of that and still sleep at night. One day, Carr must really give us his secret.